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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - September 5, 2009, Athens, Alabama Friday night lights: Prep football coverage PAGE IBThe News Courier Sening Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future 50 centsSaturday, September 5, 2009 Visit us online www.tnewscoufieMom Inside Today %0Êk %r . Football Friday Because of The News Courier's commitment to bringing readers the latest in high school football coverage, a few subscribers may receive their Saturday papers a little later than usual. Thanks for your continued support. More living in poverty The poverty rate among older Americans could be nearly twice as high as the traditional 10 percent level, according to a revision of a half-cen-tury-old formula for calculating medical costs and geographic variations in the cost of living. PAGE 7A Subscribe Get the news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALUNG 232-2720 7 '"¿9847 D01 UA gifts probe widens By Ashley Hargrove ashleyiB^ Just as things seemed to be settling down for Curtis Anderson, the 56-year-old Athens businessman has come under tire once again. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that following an internal investigation, the University of Alabama decided two players — Julio Jones and Mark Ingram — would be allowed to play in tonight’s season opening game against Virginia Tech after being accused of accepting a paid fishing trip from Anderson. But Friday, several media outlets re ported there was more involved than just a fishing trip. It was also reported that in another case related to Anderson, university officials are investigating whether Jerrell Harris, a sophomore inside linebacker from Gadsden, received a laptop computer from Anderson. The talk began circulating Friday morning on sports radio talk shows such as “The Opening Drive” with former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker on WJOX out of Birmingham and blogs such as the Tide Source by Don Kausler Jr. of the Birmingham News. “I think it needs to stay at rest,” Ander son’s wife Mitzi said Friday afternoon of the fishing incident. “The right thing happened with them getting to play and we’re just going to leave it alone.” Curtis Anderson was not available for comment. In an Associated Press article printed Aug. 24 in The News Courier, the 56-year-old Anderson said he was not a football fan and denied initially even knowing that Jones and Ingram played football. See Probe, page 3A Spirit stiU strong COURTESY PHOTO Spirit of Athens board member Wayne Kuykendall, right, recently enlisted Montgomery architect Thomas Kaufmann, left, to create renderings of how downtown Athens could look with historic and cohesive renovations. Other renderings are displayed by board members Jim Hays, second from left, and Trisha Black. Group continues efforts to draw people to downtown By Guy McClure For ITiv News Courier A local group has worked diligently over the past three years to capture the essence of the old Petula Clark song, “When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can ‘alvvays go... downtown.” But not long ago it was Athens’ downtown that was a lonely place after 5 p.m. When Carol)m Crow organized the Spirit of Athens in 2006 it started with lofty goals and a mission to promote and revitalize the downtown Athens area. Now, three years later, it still honors its initial commitments and is proud of the results of many hours of hard work by our community and its board members. Downtown merchant and Spirit of Athens board member Derrick Young is impressed with the changes. “Downtown and the Courthouse Square is a livelier, more energetic place,” said •Young. “Whether it is for unique shopping, a gourmet meal, a weekend car show or Singing on the Square, there are reasons to venture back to the square for social activities,” Spirit of Athens President Regina Crawford and Executive Director Trisha Black are setting goals and expectations for the organization’s expansion and future. “Since early in its inception, SOA has worked towards becoming recognized as an oflBcial Main Street Program — a program which is regulated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation,” said Black. “We are following their guidelines and building our membership base to show See Spirit, page 3A ASU shows record enrollment for fall semester The current semester at Athens State University represents the largest increase in enrollment in the university’s history. With more than 3,500 students registered for classes this ftJl, the upper division institution realized a 9 percent increase in the registered attendees over the figures for fell 2008. “I am pleased to see that for the sixth consecutive year we are seeing a significant increase in our enrollment figures, bringing us to a new and record-breaking height,” said Athens State President Robert Glenn. “It should be noted that the increase in enrollment is seen in each of the three colleges of the university — arts and sciences, business and education. I believe this is a clear reflection of the quality and value of our programs as students register their belief in our institution by investing their fu tures with us.” Overall, students taking online offerings maintained a 51 percent of the total student body for the fell semester. The university offers at least one or more courses that can be taken online in each of the university’s 33 majors, as well as traditional day, evening and weekend classes. Athens State is growing in See Enrollment, page 3A ‘Wish list’ of Athens road projects cost exceeds $3M By K.\rf:n MiDDLtnxrN karen&ut * The Public Works Department submitted a list of $3 million in major road projects and $500,000 in street resurfacing when the Athens City Council held budget hearings. But Community Development and Engineering Services Director Brent Meadows called it a “wish list” because there are not enough available road funds to complete a fraction of the projects. “Nothing is approved.” said Meadows. “This is my layout of what we need to do.” The most pressing of the major projects are eight miles of widening, resurfacing and subgrade repair of Nuclear Plant Road for $2.2 million. Council President Ronnie Maiks said the city should not bear this cost alone. “There needs to be some assistance fi*om TVA or the state,” said Marks. “This is a major evacuation route fi-om Browns Ferry.” Meadows said he continues to pursue funding through those sources, “but I’ve had no success so far.” Also in dire need of work is Pepper Road from the city limits to Lindsay Lane at a cost of $220,000. The city maintained portion of that amount—7,000 feet—is $120,000 and the county maintained portion of 5,300 feet is $100,000. Other major projects on the board are: • South Hine Street fix>m U.S. 72 to the city limits at a cost of $209,¿00; • Jefferson Street fix>m Hobbs to U.S. 72 vdth a recommendation to be mflled prior to resurfecing to recapture the gutter section of the roadway at a cost of $300,000; • Lindsay Lane fix>m Pepper Road to See Wish list, page 3A Custom, antique cars to Cruise In on square today Car enthusiasts wiU bring their custom, antique and restored cars to downtown Athens for Cruise In on the Square from 3-9 p.m. today. Residents are invited to bring vehicles and cruise the square or stroll past the many pristine vehicles. The free event is sponsored by Spirit of Athens and 100.3 the River. For more information, visit m or call Bland Alien at (256) 603-1227. Index Annie’s Mailbox ....:’..........4A Classified..........  4B Ledger  ........... 4A Lottery .y»x ............3A |fewsbeat .;...... ♦ . I, •.    r,.......4A obituaries..............|.....none Sports ................/.......IB Weather......................2A In our Face Join discussions of daily stories, current events, football and more on Tfie News Courier's Facebook page. Some comments made during the week are chosen to run on Wednesday's Opinion page. Join the fun! ;